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Hot Club of Cowtown

Sound description

Acoustic folk-pop.

RIYL

Bob Wills and the Playboys, Willie Nelson

Inception

San Diego , 1994

Influences

Bob Wills, Bing Crosby, Johnny Gimble, Willie Nelson, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Mildred Bailey, Kay Starr, Bob Dylan, George Barnes, Barney Kessle, Tommy Jackson, Oscar Aleman, Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli, the Hot Club of France, Joe Holley, Hugh & Carl Farr, Tommy Duncan, Grady Martin, Stuff Smith

Discography

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“We lived in San Diego all of ’97,” says guitarist Whit Smith, one-third of the country-swing/hot-jazz group Hot Club of Cowtown. “We arrived New Year’s Day, 1997, and we lived in Pacific Beach.”

They were originally a duo, featuring Smith and fiddler Elana Fremerman (aka Elana James). James' mother played violin, encouraging her daughter to take Suzuki-style classical lessons in their hometown of Kansas City, Mo. She later studied jazz violin.

The two started the group in New York and then moved west to build up their repertoire. “In no time, we were playing for tips in Balboa Park, and we played the Ocean Beach farmers’ market. And Café 976, when it was about half the size. Mostly, we played for tips. We didn’t even have a PA system — we just yelled out the words — and people would come and give us money, and all of the farmers’ market people would give us, you know, bread and apples and whatever. It was total bartering for a pleasant life. It was good.”

In 1998, Smith and James relocated to Austin, Texas, and added bassist Jake Erwin.

In 2004, the group opened for the Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson tour. The following year, Dylan asked Elana (whose last name had been changed to James, from her middle name Jamie) to join his band for a tour.

Whit Smith & Elana began touring together in early 2007 with Elana's new trio under the name Elana James. In 2008, Hot Club of Cowtown also returned to the road.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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